I have a checkered history when it comes to New Year's resolutions, but every year, come December 31, I make a few. For 2009, the list is a short one—eat less chocolate, read more poetry and reduce my family's energy consumption. So far, I've done nothing about the first two, but I took a small step toward accomplishing the third.
Back in late November I had someone give me an estimate on installing new windows in our old house. My husband and I decided it wasn't time to make such a large investment, but while the salesman was here he noted a cool draft coming from our front and back doors and recommended that we invest in some weatherstripping. We thought about trying to do the job ourselves, but decided it was best to hire a pro. So we did.
The entire job cost $225, and was well worth it. Two gentleman from Essex Replacement Door & Window Company came yesterday, took both our 85-year-old wooden front door and our 5-year-old wooden back door off their hinges and proceeded to install new plastic saddles at each threshold. Good-bye to our reindeer draft dodger—which looked cute at the bottom of the back door, but did little to keep us warm since it was always kicked aside—either accidentally by a human or intentionally by our cat.
The front wooden door required a lot more work than the back because after years of use it had shifted in its opening. First, they had to shave a bit off the bottom of the door to make a tight fit with a new saddle that would be attached to the floor. The saddle—that wooden strip found under most doors—contained a rounded rubber seal that would press against the bottom of the door when it was shut. They sealed the gaps between the wooden saddle and the floor with clear silicone caulking.
The workmen next installed a wooden frame around the door opening, leaving a slight gap between the wooden edge and the door. They attached a spongy weather-stripping around the entire frame that, when the door is closed, forms a tight gasket that lets no air through. Once the frame is painted, it will hardly be noticeable. You can see photos of the installation here. But what IS noticeable is the way the door shuts. Instead of closing with a hard clunk against the jam, it now shuts with a muffled thunk, indicating a tight seal.
The two men were finished with both doors in about an hour.
Last night I sat on our sofa, about 5 feet from the back door, ate chocolate, read the newspaper, and didn't feel a bit of a draft.
Leave a comment below and tell me about your experiences with keeping the cold out.